Mitsubishi restarts production of mini vehicles image

The Japanese authorities allowed Mitsubishi to resume production of its mini vehicles, following the ban imposed on the automaker’s mileage manipulation.

After the company admitted in April it manipulated fuel economy readings for some of its domestic mini-vehicle models, including two it produced for Nissan, the Japanese authorities started an investigation on the matter that forced the automaker to hold the output. As the transport ministry said the classification of the vehicles had not been affected by the issue, Mitsubishi can now resume its production and sales. The scandal seriously dented the company’s reputation and sales numbers, with domestic deliveries plunging 75.7 percent in June. Mini vehicle sales at Nissan also fell 77.4 percent last month, while Suzuki took a more moderate 9.3 percent hit, after it separately admitted in May it used nonconforming fuel emissions tests for almost all its cars sold in Japan.

On a recent annual forecast for the ongoing financial year, Mitsubishi said it expected to book a loss of 2 billion dollars because of the mileage scandal, including a 50-billion-yen punch (486 million dollars) to compensate Nissan, suppliers and its dealers. The company also projected a 41 percent drop in domestic sales, down to 60,000 units, compared to 102,000 units it sold last year. Nissan is close to conclude this year the 237-billion-yen deal (2.3 billion dollars) for a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi.